The Pella Knights of Columbus took a unique approach to this year’s campaign for persons with intellectual disabilities, creating a fundraising competition between local Pella students’ teams and groups, resulting in the group’s largest donation ever to Christian Opportunity Center.
Members of the Pella Lady Dutch girls’ soccer team presented COC Executive Director Rod Braun with a check for $5,413.30.
Joe Lickteig’s two daughters play soccer and decided to enlist the help of their teammates to raise funds for this year’s campaign. But the girls’ soccer team took it one step further, making a friendly wager with the football team.
If the girls’ soccer team raised more money, Coach Brian Huddle would wear a pink soccer jersey for the presentation photo. If the football team raised more, Joe would wear football gear and take on Austin Schulte in a tackling drill.
Word of the competition spread through the school, resulting in seven teams and clubs volunteering to help with the campaign.
Girls’ soccer won the bet by raising $576.65, topping the football team’s total of $465.10. Cross country raised $431.48, while Technology Student Association (TSA) raised $143. Band raised $117.58, followed by volleyball’s $106 and boys’ soccer’s $65.85.
Thanks to an annual trophy and added interest from teams and groups, excitement is already building for next year’s campaign.
The campaign ran the final full week of August and was coordinated by Art Halstead, Travis Eisenbarth and Mike Linde, who managed 50 Knights, friends and families for seven days, resulting in 200 volunteer hours.
Since 1999, Pella Knights of Columbus donations total more than $45,000 in support of COC. Its 2014 donation of $4,275 was the largest prior to Wednesday’s presentation. Last year, Pella Knights of Columbus were in the top 3% for dollars raised per Knight.
The Pella Knights of Columbus are part of the larger Iowa Knights of Columbus, whose tagline is “Go Make a Difference!” For more information visit http://iowakofc.org/ or connect with Pella Knights of Columbus #12334 on Facebook.
Founded in 1969, COC provides residential and vocational support and services to 250 people with disabilities in Marion, Mahaska, Warren and Polk counties. For more information visit https://christianopportunity.org/ or connect with Christian Opportunity Center on Facebook and IowaCOC on Twitter.